10 Must-Visit Studios, 10 Must-See Exhibitions, and More at Bushwick Open Studios 2013

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We say this without a hint of bitterness or sarcasm: Who the hell needs the Venice Biennale when you’ve got Bushwick Open Studios? (Nobody, that’s who.) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mark the seventh annual edition of Arts in Bushwick‘s open studios extravaganza in the namesake Brooklyn neighborhood — and contiguous sections of Williamsburg and Ridgewood, Queens — with more than 600 artists, galleries, pop-ups, eateries, bars, performance spaces, and so on participating. With that in mind, let’s get right to it. These are 10 exhibitions, 10 open studios, and seven ongoing exhibitions at neighborhood galleries that you should not miss while you make the rounds this weekend.

STUDIOS

117 Grattan Street: One of the biggest studio buildings in the so-called Morgantown corner of Bushwick, 117 Grattan, it will feature at least two dozen open studios on Saturday and Sunday. Among those we can whole-heartedly recommend are Patricia Satterlee (#312), Andrew Cornell Robinson (#309), Eric Lundquist (#414), and Samuel T. Adams (#416).

119 Ingraham Street: This studio-packed warehouse, better know as Brooklyn Fireproof, can take up your whole day if you’re not careful. To that end we suggest you stop in at the studios of Gili Levy and Rebecca Litt (#301), Lauren Collings (#316), Jenny Morgan (fourth floor), and the group of artists sharing #209 (Hyesu Lee, Pat Kinsella, Dasha Tolstikova, Chi Birmingham, Ben Voldman, and Rafael Alvarez).

566 Johnson Avenue: In case our approach isn’t self-evident already, the best approach for maximum studio space-time efficiency it to hit up buildings with multiple studios. As it happens 566 Johnson, also know as The Active Space, houses not only a slew of studios but also a few exhibition spaces. Among the studios, you shouldn’t miss this chance to see pieces by Ashley Zelinskie (#5), JR Larson (#21), Jen Hitchings (#28), Matt Miller (#10), Stacie Johnson (#30), and Andria Morales (#18).

1717 Troutman Street: You could easily spend an entire day in this mega-building — as we have done in years past — before closing out the evening with a drink on its sweet second-floor balcony with Manhattan views, but in the interest of efficiency you should be sure to check out Rob de Oude and Enrico Gomez (whose studio, #220, also happens to be the gallery Parallel Art Space, listed below), the space shared by Maria Britton, Amanda Browder, and Kristen Schiele (#326), Lisa Corinne Davis (#215), and Aaron Williams (#330).

1828 Troutman Street: Saturday marks the grand opening of this new studio complex — hence the BBQ and dance party, from 4-6pm — with artists Jeff DeGolier, Dave Hardy, Robin Kang, Lauren Portada, John Silvis, Siebren Versteeg, and Max Warsh showing their work.

41 Varick Avenue: Though this is another studio-filled former warehouse, the main reason for recommending it is so you can pay a visit to collageist and new media artist Man Bartlett (#303) and sculptor of surreal and gnarly creatures Dennis McNett (#415).

448 Jefferson Street: Though there are dozens of artists with open studios in this building and next-door at 2 St. Nicholas Avenue, we especially recommend visiting #49 and #51 to see works by Nate Doyle, Austin English, Clara Johansson, Adam Opet, and Catherine Stack.

1013 Grand Street: Over on the Williamsburg side of things, this huge building boasts many studios that are well worth a visit, including those shared by Shaun Acton, Jessica Hargreaves, Kathleen Vance, Debra Zechowski, and Yiji Hong (#6), Rob Weingart (fourth floor), and J. Robert Feld (#28).

929 Broadway: Over on the Bed-Stuy-adjacent side of Bushwick, this building houses the Vacancy NYC collective, with some 10 member artists participating in the open studios.

44 Stewart Avenue: Another artist-filled warehouse building, here you should especially stop in and chat with Andrew Chan (#8), Valerian Pacifico Ocampo and Brandon Elijah Johnson (#50), and Charles Laib Bitton (#39).

EXHIBITIONS

“Transmissions” at Airplane: The Jefferson Street gallery and its geographically distant but spiritually conjoined Japanese cousin, Linda Dennis, will hold a simultaneous, intercontinental group show featuring works by more than twenty artists based in Brooklyn and Tokyo.

“Rock Street 2013: Sculpture on Rock Street”: Typically serving as a lot for the Boar’s Head meat plants on either side of it, one-block Rock Street will beef up its art offerings this weekend with a meaty three-day outdoor sculpture show boasting some 20 artists, and curated by gallerists Deborah Brown and Lesley Heller.

324 Ten Eyck Street: The sprawling future home of local art gallery Storefront Bushwick — and studio of gallerist and painter Deborah Brown — has sprouted a few preliminary exhibitions, including local non-profit NURTUREart‘s solo show of Matthew Cowan‘s works and performances, a solo presentation of Shamus Clisset‘s digitally assembled photographs, and co-curators Erik Benson and Frank Webster‘s group show “Epic Fail.”

“Portraits of Fern” at Norte Maar: For this weekend-long show, Bushwick-based interdisciplinary non-profit invited some 40 artists to create portraits — ranging from paintings and drawings to sculptures and installations — of the gallery’s spokes-dog Fern.

“Ain’t No Basel”: Bushwick Basel — the neighborhood’s satirical take on the mega-fair, which debuted last year at Jules de Balincourt‘s studio — may have been canceled this year, but this sprawling show of site-specific murals covering all four floors of 308 Jefferson Street boasts an appropriately impressive roster of street artists, including Jon Burgerman, Skewville, and QRST.

What’s the Hoopla?: Some 15 artists are featured in this weekend-long show at 2 St. Nicholas Avenue curated by Glen St. Jean.

“Harthaus”: Curatorial duo Oliver and Jessica Ralli curated this show at 1042 Hart Street, with 17 artists working in every medium, including sculptural collageist Ellen Lechter, painter Stephen Truax, and obsessive ballpoint draftsman Timothy Hull.

Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair: Presented by Blonde Art Books and hosted by newish gallery Schema Projects (at 92 St. Nicholas Avenue), the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair will feature book launches, workshops, and a selection of works by some 20 local artists, book-makers, and publishers. (Incidentally, the neighborhood’s Chelsea transplant Luhring Augustine is having a huge book sale this weekend.)

“Thin Chance”: The five artists in this exhibition curated by Chris McGee at Splinters and LogsMayen Alcantara, Sheryl Oppenheim, Alex Paik, Ebony Rose, and Abigail Weg — all investigate the properties of paper in the work, whether with watercolors and washes or through more sculptural works.

“GamePad 3000 Experimental Arcade”: Amid all the serious art, it’s important to have a little (or a lot of) fun, too, hence this mandatory stop on your BOS peregrinations, at 176 Knickerbocker Avenue #4R, to play artist-designed games including the iPhone game “Bushwick Dimensions,” the tablet game “Cloudeater,” and something called “Poor Man’s Wii.” There will also be a vintage Pong console on hand, for good measure.

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS

“What I Like About You” at Parallel Art Space: Under the guidance of artist and curator Julie Torres, 11 artists came to BOS12 to participate in her show “Alltogethernow,” and now those artists are back, each paired with a Bushwick artist whose work they saw during last year’s open studios.

Chloe Bass, “The Bureau of Self-Recognition” at Momenta Art: Bass, a former BOS organizer, spent more than a year researching processes of self-recognition and habit-formation through exercises, performances, and group activities. Documentation from those exercises makes up her installation at Momenta Art, which also constitutes the fourth phase in her research.

Patrick Berran and Jack Henry at Storefront Bushwick: The subtle fluctuations of tone and texture in Berran’s canvases compliment nicely the indeterminate, geological tactility of Henry’s found object sculptures, which feature found objects embedded in colorful layers of resin.

Mathieu Lefevre, “The Stuff Things Are Made Of” at Regina Rex: While you’re in 1717 Troutman Street (see studio list above), please do stop in to see the posthumous solo debut of this French-Canadian artist who died in 2011 at age 30, and whose sculptures and paintings boast a playful and inventive approach to materials and a wry sense of humor.

Naomi Reis, “Unnatural Selection” at TSA: In paintings, collages, photographs, drawings, and an installation that includes live and fake plants, Reis — who’s coming off a residency at verdant Wave Hill in the Bronx — explores how so many ostensibly natural landscapes are in fact elaborately constructed.

“Legend of Drafts” at Centotto: Befitting BOS weekend, this longtime apartment gallery’s latest show features preparatory sketches and other objects used by artists in their studios while developing works.

“Friends With Benefits” at Lorimoto: The newest Ridgewood gallery is launching on BOS weekend with a 14-person show of works by local artists including Cibele Vieira, Jim Isherwood, Judi Rosen, and Annette Wehrhahn.

Bushwick Open Studios 2013 runs May 31-June 2. For a full directory of the 600+ BOS events, click here.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo by the author.)